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Hagerstown to host Preservation and Revitalization conference

May 26, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- More than 400 preservationists are expected to exchange information and ideas Thursday and Friday during the annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference in Hagerstown.

The event will be hosted by Preservation Maryland, the state's oldest historic preservation organization.

Liz Buxton, director of development and communications for Preservation Maryland, said Hagerstown was chosen as the site of this year's conference in part because of the city's commitment to restoring its historic past.

In addition, Preservation Maryland wanted to reach out to the western part of the state after holding conferences primarily to the east in larger cities like Annapolis and Baltimore, she said.

This is the first conference in Hagerstown, Buxton said.

According to a schedule of the conference, participants will have a chance to attend several workshops. Some of the programs that will be offered include Upper Story Strategies for Downtown Revitalization; Bricks and Mortar on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown's Arts and Entertainment District; and African-American Cultural Institutions and Community Partnerships. The workshops will be at the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown.

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The conference also will showcase Antietam National Battlefield, Buxton said.

Kathy Maher, director of the Hagerstown Planning Department, said city officials will take interested participants on a downtown tour, among other things.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II and Ed McMahon, a senior fellow for sustainable development at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., will be the featured speakers.

Since it was founded in 1931, Preservation Maryland has helped fund 400 preservation projects in Maryland, Buxton said. A stained-glass window repair at Christ Reformed United Church of Sharpsburg and the creation of a survey and management plan at South Mountain Battlefield are a few of the county projects that Preservation Maryland has helped fund.

To learn more about Preservation Maryland, go to www.preservationmaryland.org.

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